6 Top Tips To Protect Your Laptop

September 20, 2017

We’ve recently had a couple of incidents of theft from our customers.

In these cases, the items were laptops taken from the company premises and this prompted some research and the discovery of a startling statistic………

According to the technology research firm Gartner, a laptop is stolen every 53 seconds. This is a real concern if you’ve got staff out and about using laptops; Figures from the Metropolitan Police suggest a vast majority of these are stolen from bars or public transport.

So, what can you do to ensure that your laptops stay safe? Here are our 6 top tips

The Asset Register

This is an often overlooked step but, in order to report correctly to the authorities and your insurance company you need to actually know what equipment has gone missing!

Make, model, serial number, and date of purchase should be the minimum information that you keep and it’s imperative that it’s kept up to date.

If you have an IT Support provider then they will have this information if you’ve not then your asset register should be kept securely, consider having a copy with a document storage company or your accountant or solicitor.

Lock it up

Laptop locks work in much the same way as a bike lock. Almost all laptops have a small lock slot that works with laptop locks from manufacturers such as Kensington or Targus  This is not exactly an elegant solution and it might not be practical if you are in a café but it’s a very visible deterrent and if there’s a choice between the laptop with the lock and the one without then you can guess which one the thief will go for.

This is not exactly an elegant solution and it might not be practical if you are in a café but it’s a very visible deterrent and if there’s a choice between the laptop with the lock and the one without then you can guess which one the thief will go for.

Consider a software solution

There are numerous pieces of software that can assist with laptop and device security.

From tracking the laptop via GPS or IP address to remote locking and data wiping software can add an additional layer of security and might help you recover a stolen laptop or provide evidence to the police for a conviction.

One of the best on the market is LoJack which starts at £29.99 per year for a laptop. LoJack provides GPS, WiFi and IP geolocation, device lock and permanent deletion of files, protecting personal information and preventing identity theft.

However, Prey is a viable alternative which has a free version for a single user – so worth looking at if you just want to protect your own device.

Passwords

Post-it note with password written on the back. Bad security!

Losing the laptop itself can be expensive but criminal elements having access to the data on the machine can be far worse.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record here is another reason to have a really strong password. If staff are taking a laptop out and about consider two-way authentication.

Another thing to consider for a portable device is to ensure that your browser is set up to NOT save passwords.

If someone does get into your laptop the last thing you want is to give them access to your email, banking etc. so whilst it may seem inconvenient to have to enter passwords each time the heightened security may be worth it.

Get Insured

Your business insurance should cover your laptops, but do make absolutely sure.

If staff are taking laptops home to work or are out and about some policies may not pay out so ensure you’ve got the right kind of cover for the way your machines are being used.

You may be able to get additional insurance from your laptop manufacturer – for a fee of course.

Extended warranties from the retailer can also offer some protection, however, this is normal for accident protection rather than theft.

For your own personal laptop, whether it’s used for work or not, or if other insurance you have in the business is not offering suitable cover then you might look at gadget and laptop cover.

These solutions often offer the most comprehensive cover; however, they can be relatively expensive.

As with anything you need to consider the risk and obtain a suitable solution.

Back Up

We can never stress enough the need to back up your files.

If you’ve got everything else in place you can stop individuals accessing your data and get the replacement hardware paid for, but it’s rarely the machine that’s the most important element – it’s whats on it.

There are a number of different backup solutions and devices you can use but make sure you have something in place and that you are backing up regularly.

Again, this is related to risk so ask yourself – what would the impact be on the business if you lost everything you’ve done over the past two days?

If it’s significant then daily backup is the one for you!!

Whether it’s advice on software, backup solutions or password security then you can currently take advantage of our free cybersecurity check.

Call us today or email enquiries@your-itdepartment.co.uk we’ll be happy to talk.

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